I had a terrible sleep again last night, partly due to the wind but also because my poor tummy was rumbling after the Ramen noodles didn’t quite fill the void. I had stuffed a packet of white chocolate Oreo cookies in my sleeping bag to snack on during the night, but the packet of six mini biscuits only left me wanting more.
I was already awake at 5am and knew it was time to rise as the mist started rolling in and the temperature outside started to drop. I was on the trail by 6am and literally walked through cloud, mist and drops of rain for the first four hours of the day.
For the first time on the trail I reached the 600 mile milestone alone and was all rugged up in my rain jacket trying to keep warm. I stopped once on the trail before the first water source when I finally got signal to post my blog from the night before but my hands were so cold I could hardly type and uploading all of the pictures took 30 freezing cold minutes. When I was done I put gloves on and ran a mile down the trail to warm up my poor freezing body.
We walked through paddocks of cows and a number of hikers encountered a huge bull right in the middle of the trail. Lucky for me he was off to the side when I passed but I still took caution after the chapter in Wild where Cheryl gets charged by the bull which had to be in this very location.
I grabbed enough water to get me to the water cache 15 miles away and was able to borrow Birdman’s windshield to make coffee around 9am. At 10 the sun finally broke through the clouds and suddenly the whole environment around me changed into beautiful forest.
When I stopped for lunch I had to pop one of my old blisters on my heel which has flared up again and rub the soles of my feet which are REALLY starting to hurt. I don’t know if it’s the new insoles or overuse but this pain feels pretty serious and flares up around the 10 mile mark. I tried using Dr Sole’s magic green potion on them but even that didn’t ease the pain. I’m hoping two days off in Kennedy Meadows will do them a world of good. Sadly I still have just under 100 miles until I get there.
I had two great surprises as my lunch stop today. The first was seeing UB coming up the trail having put in some serious miles to catch up with me, and the second was he had my stove windshield, bowl, cup and spoon that I’d lost!! Miraculously he bumped into Robin and Garth who had picked it up for me not far from where I left them at camp. I’m so relieved to have them back! Thank you Robin, Garth and UB!
After lunch we hiked another 7 miles to the water cache and stopped once so I could tend to my aching feet. I think I need to take the next few days easy and just rest them when they flair up. Tonight UB cooked up a feast of macaroni, beef, rice and beans, a nice change from Top Ramen. I have a Snickers bar on the ready but I’m hoping tonight that my belly’s so full I won’t be waking up for a midnight snack.